Blue Jays Pitcher Shares Special Bottle of Whiskey With Teammates After Every Win

Apr 16, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (16) pitches
Apr 16, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (16) pitches / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi is off to a strong start to the 2024 baseball season.

The 32-year-old Japanese native has made four starts thus far this season, and is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 21 and two-thirds innings pitched. He's struck out 29 batters, walked eight and has only allowed five earned runs.

But it's not Kikuchi's pitching alone that stands out to his teammates. It's the fact that every win with him on the mound comes with a special postgame beverage.

After every victory with Kikuchi on the mound, the pitcher shares a $3,000 bottle of whiskey with his teammates called "The Yamazaki," which is a single malt Japanese whiskey. The $3,000 bottle is the 2022 edition of the Spanish Oak, which holds special significance to the pitcher, as it is the year that he signed with the Blue Jays.

Kikuchi told Hazel Mae of Sportsnet that he doesn't drink during the season, only after a victory when he takes the mound. But the special occasion calls for an expensive drink that he is more than happy to share with his teammates.


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Mike McDaniel

MIKE MCDANIEL

Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at InsideTheACC.com, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.